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  1. Alfa
    BUSH TARGETS MARIJUANA SMOKERS

    New super-strength marijuana readily available on US streets is
    prompting the White House to change direction in its war against drugs.

    Research from the government-sponsored Marijuana Potency Project
    claims today's cannabis is more than twice as strong as in the
    mid-Eighties, leading to greater health risks for those smoking it at
    increasingly younger ages.

    Now President George Bush, who had already promised a more aggressive
    campaign against substance abuse, has ordered that resources be
    allocated to fighting so-called 'soft' drugs instead of concentrating
    on harder forms, such as heroin and cocaine.

    'We are working hard on education, but unfortunately a lot of today's
    parents are under the impression marijuana is harmless and that their
    kids trying it is some kind of rite of passage,' said Jennifer de
    Vallance, of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

    'They might have had experience in their own teenage years with no
    problems, but this is not the same marijuana as in the Sixties,
    Seventies and Eighties. Today's forms are much stronger and
    potentially more harmful, especially to young people whose brains are
    not fully developed and are therefore more susceptible to adverse reactions.'

    The Marijuana Potency Project, at the University of Mississippi,
    analysed more than 30,000 samples seized over the past 18 years by the
    authorities. It found that the average level of the active ingredient
    in marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), jumped from 3.5 per cent in
    1985 to more than 7 per cent in 2003.

    Of more concern to the analysts is that the upward trend appears to be
    continuing. The average potency of 20 marijuana samples seized and
    tested so far this year exceeds 9 per cent, with a peak of 27 per cent
    in one batch from a state in the North West.

    'Today's marijuana is a much more serious problem than the vast
    majority of Americans understands,' said John Walters, the
    government's director of drug control policy who has promised a
    clampdown on producers.

    Those who support the legalisation of cannabis are not convinced.
    'Whenever government officials speak about drugs issues, a more
    detailed examination of the facts is a good idea,' said David Borden,
    executive director of the Washington-based Drug Reform Coordination
    Network.

    'These projects are always government-funded and, without criticising
    the researchers, officials take what they want from it and send out
    their press releases. There has always been a wide range of potencies.
    It doesn't mean people are getting more intoxicated, because the
    higher the potency, the less they smoke.'

    Figures suggest overall drug use in America's high schools has fallen
    by 11 per cent in two years but the National Centre on Addiction and
    Substance Abuse reports the number of children and teenagers receiving
    treatment for marijuana abuse jumped 142 per cent over the last
    decade, and that emergency hospital admissions of 12 to 17-year-olds
    in which marijuana was implicated rose 48 per cent in four years.

    Borden acknowledges children must be steered away from drugs, but
    says: 'Their anti-drugs efforts have had a paradoxical effect in
    promoting the underground cultivation of marijuana. The number of
    users makes it an appealing target and there is no limit to the number
    of arrests that can be made, and the government uses those numbers to
    scare the public into thinking there is some big problem.

    'All the government has been able to do is encourage people to
    experiment with stronger drugs than they would have before.'

Comments

  1. Alfa
    Pure lies. The UN has released a report on THC levels. They have been unchanged everywhere since the 1970's except in The Netherlands where the avarage has increased to 16%.
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